The New England Patriots might have one of the best salary cap situations in the NFL this offseason, but this roster still has some players on the books that don’t necessarily need to be hanging around in 2021. Whether it’s because they can no longer contribute, they cost too much, or there’s a surplus at that position, Bill Belichick has room to trim some fat.
Unfortunately, we know Pats fans might not be thrilled with all of these, but this is arguably the most pivotal offseason of Belichick’s career, and he can’t be charitable when he needs to get this team back on track as quickly as possible.
Giving the front office more spending power, no matter how little, will go a long way, especially if Belichick opts to unload considerable draft capital for a quarterback (though we have no idea who that would be). And that means these current Patriots might be looking for a new home in the coming weeks/months.
These potential cap casualties could increase the Patriots’ spending power.
3. Brandon Bolden
The running back opted out of 2020, and now the Patriots might cut ties.
Though Rex Burkhead and James White will be hitting free agency, leaving the Patriots with Damien Harris, Sony Michel and Brandon Bolden in the backfield, we highly doubt Belichick is going to let White walk. Burkhead likely won’t be retained given he suffered a torn ACL midway through the season.
That being said, Harris, Michel, White and JJ Taylor will be more than enough to get by in 2021. There’s no need for the Patriots to pay Bolden, who opted out of 2020 and had only 68 rushing yards in 2019, his nearly $2 million salary, especially when just $500K is dead money. The Pats can save just about $1.5 million by releasing him.
When you look at the backfield, too, the roles are set. Harris is the starter, Michel, assuming he can stay healthy, will be a tremendous option to give carries to/use as a blocker, and White is the Swiss Army knife third-down back who can help bail out the QB by catching balls when he leaks out of the pocket. Plus, White is pretty much a Patriots legend at this point. There’s no reason for him to go anywhere.
Belichick is always cost-cutting at the running back position, so there’s no reason for him not to this time around, especially when the decision comes down to Bolden, who hasn’t contributed more than 91 rushing yards in a single season since 2015.